Not just an echo
It was good to see the Country project had a nice write up of the Supporters Day in April in the recently released Great Western Echo, magazine of the Great Western Society. It is well worth joining the Society if you have any interest in things Great Western, and the Echo is always a good bath read (the sort where the water starts to go cold before you've finished).
One aspect that was discussed in the article was how imposing the County looks and how much it looks like a King from the front. This is no surprise. The Great Western's standardisation policy meant that there were only two main types of smokebox door used on GW 4-6-0s - one type for the Manor, Grange, Hall, Saint, and Star, and another for the County, Castle, and King, with only the smokebox barrel changing diameter to suit the boiler differences. The similarity of the three big 4-6-0s is obvious when you compare these three photos, taken on the County Day, of King Edward II, Dryslwyn Castle, and County of Glamorgan.
Other photos taken on the Supporters Day which are worth sharing are these ones taken through plug holes in the backhead looking at the water and steam space between the inner and outer firebox. This shows to great effect the multitude of stays required to keep non-circular sections of a boiler from deforming. This is perhaps even more spectacularly shown when looking through the firehole door into the firebox where the rows of stay ends are even more apparent, along with the firebox tubeplate awaiting the small tubes and superheater flues.